Happy Birthday: Matthew Weiner

mattheweiner.jpgHappy Birthday writer Matthew Weiner

Born: June 29, 1965 in Baltimore, Maryland, USA

Married to: Linda Brettler (January 1991 – present) (4 children)





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Created by Matthew Weiner
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Owen Wilson
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Happy Birthday: Slim Pickens (1919–1983)

slimpickens.jpgHappy Birthday actor Slim Pickens (1919–1983)

Born: June 29, 1919 in Kingsburg, California, USA

Died: December 8, 1983 (age 64) in Modesto, California, USA

Married to: Margaret Elizabeth Harmon (1950 – 8 December 1983) (his death) (3 children)


Ever remembered as the Air Force major from Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964), it is interesting that Pickens’ nephew, Jim “Slim” Pickens, became a career officer in the US Navy.

Before becoming an actor, Slim was riding on the rodeo circuit. Someone told him that he should take up another line of work because all he would ever get in the rodeo was “Slim Pickin’s.”

Brother of Easy Pickens.

Dedicatee of Howard Waldrop’s story “Night of the Cooters,” whose protagonist is Sheriff Bert Lindley.

Well, there was this big, lanky, fourteen-year-old California ranch kid, and he went into the rodeo manager’s office and said, “Mister, I want to sign up for the calf-roping but my paw says I ain’t allowed to. So I can’t use my right name.” And the manager said, “Son, no matter what name you use, it’ll be slim pickin’s out there today.” So the boy said, “That’s as good a name as any, I reckon-put me down as Slim Pickin’s.” The manager spelled it “Pickens,” and the boy won $400 that afternoon. (As told to Ed Zern)

Was Stanley Kubrick’s first choice to play the role of Dick Hollaran in the film The Shining (1980). Pickens declined, saying that after enduring Kubrick’s notorious style of multiple retakes in Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964), he had no desire to work for Kubrick again. Subsequently, the role of Hollaran went to Scatman Crothers.

Happy Birthday: Richard Lewis

richardlewis.jpgHappy Birthday actor Richard Lewis

Born: June 29, 1947 in Brooklyn, New York, USA

Married to: Joyce Lapinsky (January 2005 – present)


On wife Joyce Lapinsky: I keep thinking the rug is going to be pulled out from under me. I still think this is a practical joke and she has a million affairs and is married to someone in Italy. She keeps saying no, but I haven’t seen her in a few days.

I’ll speak for me, though it’s hard for me to speak for myself because I don’t know who I am.

[re Jonathan Winters ] I talked to Jonathan almost daily on the phone when he was feeling well. In the past eight or nine years he must have left me hundreds and hundreds of insanely funny messages in my voicemail, each a different character and all gold. If I failed to mention the premise of his call I was always touched when he asked me if I dug the bit. Imagine!? My childhood idol was asking me! We had a father-son comedy relationship. Both being recovering alcoholics we related on that level, Jonathan with a staggering fifty-three years sober before passing, and growing up we had a horrible time of it getting support from most of our family, diving into show business but mostly we free-associated in life and on stage and ‘got’ the most obscure references from one another. He had special relationships with a handful of buddies that I know he treasured. We were his standing ovation every time we saw him or talked to him. Every day.

Happy Birthday: Bret McKenzie

bretmckenzie.jpgHappy Birthday actor Bret McKenzie

Born: June 29, 1976 in New Zealand

Married to:
Hannah Clarke (18 March 2009 – present)


The ‘Muppets’ were a very big part of my childhood, and ‘Flight of the Conchords’ definitely has elements of the ‘Muppets’ in it, specifically the way we mixed music and comedy.

One of the mistakes I made was thinking chickens and penguins could sing, just like all the other animals in the ‘Muppets.’ But it turns out those animals are not allowed to sing words.

I think the radio is kind of cool, because you’re really free to do whatever you want, because you can go into another world. Whereas in TV, you have to make that world.

My acting’s very understated. I think my sad and happy don’t play that differently onscreen.

Music-wise, I listen to everything. Leonard Cohen, Randy Newman – I guess I like a lot of ’70s music.

It’s easy to struggle in New York. I think New York is a bit expensive.
I grew up watching the ‘Muppets.’ In New Zealand, the ‘Muppets’ were as big as anywhere else I think. It was a pretty global phenomenon.

[on films of the ’30s and ’40s] It was such a golden age for musicals. Those years are so influential on us now with what they did for films with musical numbers. I’m jealous of that time. It seemed like the actors spent most of their time doing dancing and singing lessons, and they’d come on set and know all the moves. And they could all sing as we’ll. Now you’re dealing with actors who can’t sing or dance, but think they can.

Happy Birthday: Sharon Lawrence

sharonlawrenceHappy Birthday actor Sharon Lawrence

Born: June 29, 1961 in Charlotte, North Carolina, USA

Married to: Dr. Tom Apostle (31 May 2002 – present)

You may know her from multiple nominated and SAG Award winning portrayal of ADA Sylvia Costas Sipowitz in NYPD Blue, as a stay-at-home prostitute in Desperate Housewives and a murderous realtor on Monk, as a serial killer on Law and Order:SVU, coming to terms with her long lost daughter on Rizzoli & Isles, bantering with Alfred Molina on Ladies Man or beating up Larry David on Curb Your Enthusiasm. Sharon grew up in Charlotte and Raleigh North Carolina, graduated form UNC-CH with a degree in Journalism and spent her college summers doing musicals in summer stock.